God Will Not Forsake His Saints (2) (Psalm 37:21-40)Phillip Stuckey, July 8, 2018
Part of the Exposition of the Psalms series, preached at a Sunday Evening service
The thirty-seventh psalm is attributed to David, probably written later in his life, and is another of the wisdom psalms (Ps. 37:25). It resembles many of the proverbs and focuses on the faithfulness of God and the fate of the wicked despite their apparent ease and success in this life. This psalm has an acrostic arrangement, perhaps to help in memorization, but it is only complete in the odd-numbered verses. This psalm is quoted by the Lord in the Sermon on the Mount and contains some of the most well-known and loved verses of the Old Testament (Ps. 37:4-5, 11, 16, 25). To some, this psalm is an explanation about how the meek will inherit the earth. In our last lesson, we considered the first two parts of the psalm where David teaches us to stop worrying about the wicked who will perish, but instead to focus on God. Let us consider the remainder of the psalm as David continues to meditate on these themes.
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Psalm 37:21–40 (Listen)
21 The wicked borrows but does not pay back,
but the righteous is generous and gives;
22 for those blessed by the LORD shall inherit the land,
but those cursed by him shall be cut off.
23 The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
when he delights in his way;
24 though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
for the LORD upholds his hand.
25 I have been young, and now am old,
yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
or his children begging for bread.
26 He is ever lending generously,
and his children become a blessing.
27 Turn away from evil and do good;
so shall you dwell forever.
28 For the LORD loves justice;
he will not forsake his saints.
They are preserved forever,
but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land
and dwell upon it forever.
30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
and his tongue speaks justice.
31 The law of his God is in his heart;
his steps do not slip.
32 The wicked watches for the righteous
and seeks to put him to death.
33 The LORD will not abandon him to his power
or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.
34 Wait for the LORD and keep his way,
and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
you will look on when the wicked are cut off.
35 I have seen a wicked, ruthless man,
spreading himself like a green laurel tree.
36 But he passed away, and behold, he was no more;
though I sought him, he could not be found.
37 Mark the blameless and behold the upright,
for there is a future for the man of peace.
38 But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
the future of the wicked shall be cut off.
39 The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
40 The LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.